More dates set for mobile testing

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More dates have been set over the next two weeks for Renfrew County residents who want to take advantage of mobile clinics to be tested for COVID-19.

In Deep River, Renfrew County paramedics will hold clinics at the Deep River Arena parking lot from 2-4 pm on Wednesday, June 10 and again Wednesday, June 17.

Testing will also be available both Wednesday mornings from 9-11 am at the Petawawa Civic Centre, or Monday and Friday afternoons from 2-4 pm at the County of Renfrew building in Pembroke (7 International Drive next to the Best Western).

Residents who would like to be tested are asked to contact the Renfrew County Virtual Triage Assessment Centre (RC-VTAC) at 1-844-727-6404 or the health unit at 613-735-8654 or 1-800-267-1097 to pre-register.

The Renfrew County and District Health Unit is asking residents to be patient while waiting for test results, as results can take anywhere from two to 10 days to receive due to the current increase in community and long-term care home testing.

“Unfortunately, the provincial labs are inundated and are running well beyond capacity due to the government of Ontario’s new testing requirements, all of which is well beyond RCDHU’s control,” the health unit said.

Acting medical officer of health Dr. Robert Cushman is also asking for patience and adds that “Renfrew County and District has a much lower level of COVID-19 than the rest of Ontario.”

“Since late April, we have been seeing less than one positive test per 1,000 people tested. This is reassuring but we cannot let down our guard because there will, no doubt, be additional spikes in activity in the months ahead.”

The health unit says that moving forward, residents will only be notified if they receive a positive test result.

Meanwhile, the Deep River and District Hospital is reminding area residents that testing is not being done in the hospital’s emergency department.

“We are supportive of the testing initiative and process of the Renfrew County paramedics and public health in conjunction with the Renfrew County Virtual Triage and Assessment Centre (RC-VTAC),” said Janna Hotson, chief nursing executive and COVID-19 response team lead.

Hotson emphasized that, “this method of community testing minimizes individual contact and helps avoids potential spread of the virus to health care providers and patients.”

“Having testing completed in the community, rather than in the hospital, ensures physical distance between those who may be ill and other patients.”

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